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The Texas Program in Sports and Media
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"Whether Fox and ESPN put their foot down, Texas reminded everybody that it still had no interest in ditching LHN, or the Big 12 truly just couldn’t agree on teams ... we’re back to where we were 92 days ago. Good times."

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"The Longhorn Network is too advantageous for Texas to give up. The Longhorn Network is keeping the smaller Big 12 schools from forming what, at least in least in rose-colored perception, would be a lucrative new conference network. Expansion to renegotiate the TV deal was the only way to generate more revenue. But, given the program quality available, expansion was a nonstarter."

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"Texas and its Longhorn Network have been a source of tension in the Big 12 and helped drive some schools, including Missouri, away. Despite the Longhorns’ recent struggles on the football field, there is not a conference in the country that would not open its doors to Texas. The Pac-12 already tried to lure the Longhorns away unsuccessfully once. Texas is one of the few schools that could probably make football independence work in the way Notre Dame does."

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"Texas has all the cards here and would be courted by any league. Institutionally, the school has shown little desire to go to the SEC. (Why join Texas A&M?) The Big Ten could be a fit, as would the ACC and Pac-12. The ACC would likely offer the smoothest transition for the Longhorn Network, as ESPN owns all of the ACC's content and the easiest solution for everyone would be to fold LHN, a partnership between ESPN and Texas, into the ACC Network."

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"When it comes to judging LHN — which on Friday will mark five years to the day that it launched on Aug. 26, 2011 — beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it seems. And let’s be honest. Just about  everyone has expressed some kind of opinionabout the UT-centric network, which started with 20,000 subscribers in Texas five years ago but now boasts 20 million coast to coast."

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"Another question is how this move helps the two Big 12 superpowers that would be courted by other leagues when the Big 12’s grant of rights expires. Texas could join any league it wants, but it would have to fold the Longhorn Network to do so. The Big 12 is actually a very good deal for Texas, and it might be the most attractive deal to the Longhorns. Remember, Texas wouldn’t be able to boss around Ohio State, Michigan, USC or UCLA."

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"The motivator of this round of Big 12 expansion is just like every other round of expansion. Money. It’s a straight financial play. One wise veteran of realignment said that making an average of about $100 million extra per year, as the Big 12 is slated to do, is like getting TV network money without adding a TV network. The Big 12 would get that money, essentially, if it added four intramural programs.
The Big 12 has no chance of starting a linear network, one of the recent motivators for adding schools. Nor is the league’s television contract up soon, which is the other historic trigger for realignment. This is a straight cash play to make sure the league doesn’t get left behind financially, as it’s the only major conference without a television network."

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"With a contract that does not end for another 15 years, there is no indication the LHN will end any time soon. Bevo will just get fatter as the Big 12 just gets more desperate."

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"For better or for worse, at the moment the Big 12, Texas, and Longhorn Network appear to be stuck with each other.  The creation of the Longhorn Network may have saved the Big 12, but it may have also ensured the conference always faces this uphill battle to match its power five cohorts."
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